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FEC Approves National Child Online Protection Policy And Strategy

Federal Executive Council has approved the National Child Online Protection Policy and Strategy.

Gatekeepers News reports that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, disclosed that the policy is essentially designed to protect children from unsolicited content online.

Pantami announced this after the council meeting presided over by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday.

According to him, this has become a global requirement, in line with a policy document released by the International Telecommunications union (of which Nigeria is a member) on keeping children safe in the digital era.

The Minister said, “According to the report of the International Telecommunication Union, even during COVID-19 more than 1 billion children were online, most of them for their studies, because schools were shut down. So, they switch only to virtual learning.”

“Children will not be able to differentiate what is beneficial or what is harmful. And today without any solicitation, if you go online, you will discover that many things are coming into your device unsolicitedly. And if you are at least matured, you will be able to avoid but children would not be able to and that will definitely affect their innocence and will even affect them morally and otherwise.”

He said it is against this backdrop that the council approved the National Child Online Protection Policy and Strategy.

Pantami also noted that the government is working with 37 institutions of government including NOA, NBC, Ministry of Justice, Information and culture, Office of the National Security Adviser among others in a multi sector approach.

He said that towards its implementation, a governance structure using these relevant institutions of government would map out strategies, leveraging on existing laws.

The council also approved the National Data Protection Bill to ensure the privacy, confidentiality and security of data submitted to government and private institutions.

Former Director of e-government at NITDA, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, has also been approved as the National Commissioner.

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